Sunday, March 15, 2015

My Recent Road Journey ( 985 km) – Delhi – Bareilly – Ranikhet – Nainital - Delhi - Part 4

Day Four – Ranikhet (Bhalu Dam Trek and Holm Farm Heritage)

Bhalu Dam from Google earth

 Our Bhalu Dam trek which got postponed yesterday was planned today. Me and my son left for the trek at 0830. It is a dam constructed by British in  for supplying water to Ranikhet garrison. It is about three km (or little more) trek from Chaubatia Fruit Garden through thick forest of Pine and Dev dar. 

Moterable Trail

                                                                 Carpet of Flowers

                                                                     Bhalu Dam

                                                                     Lake Behind the Dam
Dense Forest
Gum Extraction

Stone Hut - Almost Midway

Return journey was tough. The footpath now was leading up. A steep fall had now become a steep climb. To me, though fit but not acclimatized and all of 53, I admit that it was tough. But anyway with one or two rests we returned home by 1030 hrs. 
Return Leg of the Trek

 On return when we looked at trek recording app on mobile, we realized that we had covered about 5.8 km.  The reason for me to get tired also became clear, the altitude change in about 3 km travel was 375 m. it was obviously tough change of altitude. Another similar altitude that I had faced was some 13 years ago between Govind dham to Hemkund Saheb in Garhwal Himaliyas (1 km altitude change for a 6 km walk) when I has only 41 years of age. In all it was a lovely though tiring experience.
Post lunch we decided to go to Holm Farm Heritage (hotel) for a visit. After driving through Ranikhet town we came to a detour on the right of the road. It was a concrete road capable of taking one vehicle at a time or so it looked to me, leading down.   After a drive of about two km through winding road with a doubt emerging every few minutes as to if something exists at the end of this road, we reached a beautiful bungalow overlooking beautiful Himalayas.

The Bungalow

Another View
What a beautiful and refreshing sight it was. The owner stays in a cottage, belongs to a freedom fighter family. The bungalow was built in 1869.

Dinning Hall

Dinning Hall

Old Kerosine lamp

Piano & Fire Place
 It still has old brass tumbler switches, old kerosene lamps, original wall paper in dinning hall, original piano which does not work now, stately rooms and a beautiful garden, tennis court, etc. Excellent place for groups / families or loners or love birds. We roamed around the property, enjoyed it, the staff was very hospitable forthcoming with information about the property.

Laila the Dog
  We also played with a cute mixed dog of one year called Laila. We also had a cup of well made ginger tea.  

Mighty Himaliyas
Post tea we returned back to our accommodation by about 1700 and rested for the day.

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